Intro. Paul is addressing those who are in the synagogue in Antioch on the Sabbath day. He has identified with them in their history. He speaks of their prophets who prophesied of the coming Messiah. The prophets had spoken of the Messiah being despised and rejected by the rulers, and this is exactly what happened to Jesus, for they crucified Him. He fulfilled all that was written of Him, for in His death He took the penalty of our sin and died in our stead. They then took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a sepulcher.
I. "BUT GOD RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD."
A. To the Jew, this was a whole new concept of the Messiah.
1. They were thinking only of the prophecies that spoke of His glorious kingdom that He would establish upon the earth.
a. No more wars.
b. No more fears.
c. No more suffering.
d. Even the animal kingdom at peace with man.
2. Paul wrote later that the cross was a stumbling block to the Jew.
3. Paul is showing to them that the cross was actually a fulfillment of the prophecies.
B. Paul affirms that though He was crucified in fulfillment of the prophecies, yet He rose from the dead.
1. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the crucial point of the story.
2. Many would go along with the story until you get to the resurrection from the dead.
a. When Paul talked with the Greek philosophers on Mars Hill, they were following along with him until he spoke of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. It was at this point that the meeting broke up, they mocked at the declaration of the resurrection.
b. There are many today who cannot handle the fact of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
3. The resurrection of Jesus is the heart of the gospel, in fact, without the resurrection, you have no gospel.
1. Paul wrote,
And if Christ be not risen, then our preaching is vain, and your faith is also vain. We then are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ: Whom He raised not up, if the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
C. Having introduced to them the thought of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, he now will seek to confirm the fact of the resurrection.
1. First of all, there are many witnesses who affirmed that they saw Him alive after His crucifixion.
2. These men bore witness of this truth to the people.
3. And we declare to you the good news that the promises that God made to our fathers, He has fulfilled them to us, their children in the resurrection of Jesus.
D. Paul now will give to them Old Testament scriptures that speak of the resurrection.
1. It is interesting that when Peter preached the first sermon on the day of Pentecost, when he came to the resurrection, he also saw fit to give them O.T. scriptures that spoke of the resurrection.
2. Paul first quotes Psalm 2
, "You are My Son, this day have I begotten Thee."
a. It is interesting that Paul seems to understand that this verse "This day I have begotten Thee" refers to His resurrection from the dead.
b. In Romans 1
, Paul said that Jesus was declared to be the Son of God with power, by his resurrection from the dead.
c. To the Colossians he wrote:
And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.
d. If Jesus is eternal then He could not have been begotten by God, for that infers a beginning.
e. The writer of Hebrews in contrasting Jesus with the angels said:
And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.
But unto the Son [he saith], Thy throne, O God, [is] for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness [is] the scepter of thy kingdom.
f. When the prophet Micah prophesied the birthplace of the Messiah, he said of the Messiah, "Whose goings forth have been from old, from everlasting."
g. John speaking of Jesus said:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
h. In his first epistle he wrote:
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
(For the life was manifested, and we have seen [it], and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
i. So the statement, "This day have I begotten Thee" can either refer to the incarnation, or to the resurrection. Paul speaks of it in terms of the resurrection.
E. The next scripture that Paul will refer to is in Isaiah 55:3
where he promised to give the sure mercies of David.
1. This is a reference of the promise of God to David that there should never cease from one of His seed sitting upon the throne.
2. Having shown to them that the Messiah must die, he now shows that the Messiah must also be raised from the dead. 3 If God is to show him the sure mercies of David, that is He is to sit on the throne forever. This means that the Messiah would have to be raised from the dead that God might fulfill that promise to David.
For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
1. This is the same passage that Peter used in his sermon in Acts 2
2. The word hell is a reference to the Old Testament word sheol which meant the grave and often translated hell.
3. In Luke 16
, Jesus spoke of the place of the dead prior to His own death.
a. It was divided into two diverse compartments. The one was a place of suffering, and the other a place of comfort.
b. Peter affirmed that David could not have been speaking of himself for his body saw corruption.
c. Paul affirms the same thing in our text, verse 36.
4. The promise of necessity must be of the Messiah, for His body saw no corruption verse 37.